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Analyzing the Weakness in Crude Oil

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:20 p.m. ET

US crude oil

On March 8, 2018, US crude oil April 2018 futures declined 1.7% and closed at $60.12 per barrel. Below is the list of the US crude oil following ETFs’ price performances on the same day:

  • The United States Oil ETF (USO) fell 1.6%.
  • The PowerShares DB Oil ETF (DBO) fell 0.5%.
  • The Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN (OIIL) fell 1%.
  • The ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (UCO) fell 3.1%.

On March 8, 2018, the US dollar rose 0.6%. The rise in the US dollar had a negative impact on commodities. The PowerShares DB Commodity Tracking ETF (DBC) fell 0.6% on the same day. US crude oil production data and weakness in the broader market on March 7, 2016, are the other factors that pulled oil prices down. We’ll discuss the statistical relationship between US crude oil and the broader market in Part 3 of this series. These bearish factors could be behind a fall of 1.4% in US crude oil prices in the trailing week.

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Natural gas

On March 8, 2018, natural gas April 2018 futures fell 0.8% and closed at $2.76 per million British thermal units. The fall limited natural gas’s rise to 2.1% in the trailing week.

On March 8, 2018, the EIA reported natural gas inventory data. In the week ending March 2, 2018, there was a fall of 57 Bcf (billion cubic feet) in natural gas inventories to 1,625 Bcf, which missed the market’s expected fall of 58 Bcf by a small margin. The negative difference between inventories and their five-year average contracted by 2.5 percentage points to -15.6%—a bearish factor for natural gas prices.

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